Playing Around Interaction

Table of Contents

  1. Preamble
  2. Playing Around Removal
    1. Cheating on Devotion
    2. Thinning with Fetchlands
  3. Playing Around / Through Countermagic
    1. Proactive Disruption
    2. Reactive Disruption
    3. Other Tools Available
  4. Playing Around / Through Permanent-Based Interaction
    1. Chalice of the Void
    2. Taxing Effects
    3. Spell Restrictors
    4. Draw Restrictors
    5. Search Restrictors
  5. Playing Around Shuffle Effects
  6. Everything Else to Consider
    1. Grindstone
    2. Fireblast
    3. Mindbreak Trap
    4. Thought Scour / Predict / Archmage's Charm
    5. Dack Fayden / Jace, the Mind Sculptor / Portent
    6. Vendilion Clique / Kolaghan's Command
    7. Stifle / Trickbind / Torpor Orb / Dress Down
    8. Thoughtseize / Thoughtknot Seer / Cabal Therapy
    9. Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer
  7. Final Thoughts

Preamble

Part of the appeal of Doomsday as a card and as a deck is its flexibility. Doomsday allows you to tutor up just the right set of five cards to pull out a win from a wide variety of situations. Some hate that other combo decks would struggle against, Doomsday can beat rather easily. Of course there are things Doomsday struggles with but we'll discuss ways to fight through all kinds of hate. This will be far from comprehensive but it should give you a strong basis for how to approach different types of interaction from your opponents.

Generally when thinking about different types of interaction and combo-hate your opponent might have, it is useful to group them up into categories that have similar techniques for fighting individual cards in them. In this way we can present approaches that have multiple applications rather than to cover every possible corner case card you may face out in the wild.

We will consider the following types of interaction for this chapter:

  1. Removal
  2. Countermagic
  3. Permanent Based Interaction
  4. Shuffle Effects
  5. The Kitchen Sink (Everything Else)

Playing Around Removal

Cheating on Devotion

The first key point to state is when removal actually matters. Thassa's Oracle has some key text on it that states the following:

If X is greater than or equal to the number of cards in your library, you win the game.

This means that even in the face of a removal spell you can still win if the trigger resolves assuming you have zero cards left in your library. The only time removal matters is when you have cards left within your library. If an opponent tries to remove the Oracle at that point, assuming you have no additional Devotion to , you will not be able to win off of the trigger.

The main counter to this is of course to try and ensure you always leave zero cards left in your deck once the Oracle trigger resolves. Another way is to potentially try a bait pile which tries to go off in one turn but has the option to wait another. This can be especially useful if you are playing multiple Oracles. Let us take this example from the Brainstorm chapter:

+ Brainstorm + Thassa's Oracle

"Lion's Eye Diamond" from Mirage - Art by Margaret Organ-Kean
"Street Wraith" from Future Sight - Art by Cyril Van Der Haegen
"Ponder" from Lorwyn - Art by Mark Tedin
"Edge of Autumn" from Future Sight - Art by Jean-Sébastien Rossbach
"Thassa's Oracle" from Theros Beyond Death - Art by Jesper Ejsing
  1. Cast Brainstorm and put back Oracle then Ponder on top
  2. Cast LED, cycle SW cracking LED for and draw the Ponder.
  3. Cast the cantrip and arrange your library so that it is (TO, EoA, TO)
  4. Draw Oracle, cast Oracle to (hopefully) win.
  5. If they have removal, pass the turn.
  6. Draw Edge, cycle Edge to draw Oracle and cast Oracle to (hopefully) win.

This example is good if you suspect removal but are not under too much pressure where you would not survive another turn. You can try and go off with a backup Oracle in the deck the turn after. Stacking the Edge above the second Oracle can also protect against things like a dashed Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer.

This pile plays around the following:

  • Warping Wail
  • Unavailability of Predict/Ideas Unbound
  • Stifle for the first Oracle
  • Removal for both Oracles
  • Countermagic for the first Oracle

If your opponent deals with TO with its trigger on the stack, you could be missing on a couple Devotion to . That's why it's important to try and consume the entirety of your pile before going for it whenever you can, especially if your opponent is likely to hold removal as you go off.

With enough mana, and other relevant permanents in your deck, you can utilise extra potential Devotion to to help bolster your effect. Cards like Baleful Strix, Counterbalance, Snapcaster Mage or even Teferi, Time Raveler are a few examples. The concepts presented here can also help beat something like Endurance which, although doesn't actually remove the Oracle, does result in your deck having too many cards to enable you to win off of the trigger.

Thinning with Fetchlands

Another trick you can do, to help achieve a library of 0 cards for your Oracle trigger, is this: With an active fetchland in play as you resolve Doomsday, or sometimes by putting both a fetchland and a fetch'able land inside the pile, you can effectively thin further down the size of your library as you move towards resolving TO.

Consider the following:

+ Ponder + Island
Land drop available

"Brainstorm" from Mercadian Masques - Art by DiTerlizzi
"Street Wraith" from Future Sight - Art by Cyril Van Der Haegen
"Edge of Autumn" from Future Sight - Art by Jean-Sébastien Rossbach
"Polluted Delta" from Onslaught - Art by Rob Alexander
"Thassa's Oracle" from Theros Beyond Death - Art by Jesper Ejsing
  1. Cast Ponder to draw BS
  2. Cast BS and put back Island then EoA
  3. Cycle SW to draw EoA
  4. Land Polluted Delta and fetch the Island
  5. Cycle SW and play TO with 0 remaining cards

Playing Around / Through Countermagic

When trying to resolve Doomsday, a lot of people will try and fight over the Doomsday itself however there are some circumstances where you should try and consider the possibility of having to face countermagic after you have built your pile. Examples may include where you have gone for an aggressive turn 1 pile on the play or where your opponent thinks they can get you by countering Oracle and thereby leaving you stuck with no cards left in the deck and a lethal draw step looming or if you've left a mana open to pay for a Daze they may not have gotten value from otherwise. Thankfully there are a number of ways and means to play around / punish a resolved Doomsday in the face of countermagic.

Proactive Disruption

You can utilise your proactive disruption spells like Thoughtseize or Veil of Summer at the start of your turn. Consider the following scenario where you have cast Doomsday on turn 1 for a PTT pile in the face of a known deck and it has resolved (from the Basics chapter):

Opening hand (7)
Game 1
On the play

"Dark Ritual" from Limited Edition Alpha - Art by Sandra Everingham
"Doomsday" from Weatherlight - Art by Adrian Smith
"Force of Will" from Alliances - Art by Terese Nielsen
"Force of Will" from Alliances - Art by Terese Nielsen
"Swamp" from Unhinged - Art by John Avon
"Island" from Unhinged - Art by John Avon
"Preordain" from Magic 2011 - Art by Svetlin Velinov

Although we have Force of will in our hand we are wanting to use LED to help us generate enough mana to cast everything we want. If we use LED our Oracle becomes exposed thanks to having to discard our Forces. Here is one potential solution assuming we played Doomsday off of Swamp and Dark Ritual:

"Brainstorm" from Mercadian Masques - Art by DiTerlizzi
"Thoughtseize" from Lorwyn - Art by Aleksi Briclot
"Lion's Eye Diamond" from Mirage - Art by Margaret Organ-Kean
"Edge of Autumn" from Future Sight - Art by Jean-Sébastien Rossbach
"Thassa's Oracle" from Theros Beyond Death - Art by Jesper Ejsing
  1. Draw Brainstorm for turn
  2. Play Island, cast Brainstorm with Island, and put back Force and Preordain on top
  3. Cast Thoughtseize to take away any potential interaction
  4. Cycle EoA cracking LED for and draw Preordain
  5. Scry the Force of Will to the bottom, draw Oracle
  6. Cast Oracle for the win

Here we have taken some of the concepts learnt in using Brainstorm and applied them to a scenario whereby before, we had not considered facing interaction fully. You can do a similar scenario where you have initiated off of Bayou with Veil of Summer instead.

"Brainstorm" from Mercadian Masques - Art by DiTerlizzi
"Veil of Summer" from Core Set 2020 - Art by Lake Hurwitz
"Lion's Eye Diamond" from Mirage - Art by Margaret Organ-Kean
"Edge of Autumn" from Future Sight - Art by Jean-Sébastien Rossbach
"Thassa's Oracle" from Theros Beyond Death - Art by Jesper Ejsing

If they cast a spell, such as a Brainstorm, in response to the Veil, you have a chance to crack LED after Brainstorm has resolved and priority passes back to you but before Veil resolves to generate the mana for Preordain. If you want to try and get really tricky and wish to assume they will respond with something to the Veil you can replace the Preordain and then the Force on top and use the EoA to cycle into the Force of Will (Pitching the Second FoW) to counter any response to the Veil which will then allow you to crack LED into Preordain. This is obviously a risky line if they do not respond to the Veil as it leaves you having to pass the turn again with Force backup available only prior to trying to crack LED.

Reactive Disruption

For Legacy, reactive disruption tends to be centred around countermagic and Meandeck is no different. A lot of the consideration that comes from using reactive protection within piles generally boils down to 2 points:

  • Having enough resources to allow the casting of countermagic in your pile
  • Not having to crack LED to achieve the win

Resources in this context can mean mana, cards in hand to pitch to Force of Will, lands in play to return with Daze or cycle off of Edge of Autumn or simply just the number of cards in hand. We can have a look at a number of options that are run in lists for countermagic choices and how they may affect your pile building options.

The greatest tool in allowing the use of countermagic in piles is Ideas Unbound. The extra card drawn can allow a lot of flexibility in keeping up countermagic.

Consider the following:

"Dark Ritual" from Limited Edition Alpha - Art by Sandra Everingham
"Doomsday" from Weatherlight - Art by Adrian Smith
"Force of Will" from Alliances - Art by Terese Nielsen
"Force of Will" from Alliances - Art by Terese Nielsen
"Underground Sea" from Limited Edition Beta - Art by Rob Alexander
"Island" from Unhinged - Art by John Avon
"Preordain" from Magic 2011 - Art by Svetlin Velinov

Once again we are taking our PTT example but this time we are assuming we are not playing against a deck running Wasteland effects. Because of this we can guarantee to have UU available on our turn. As a result we can build a pile like so:

"Ideas Unbound" from Saviors of Kamigawa - Art by Mark Tedin
"Lotus Petal" from Tempest - Art by April Lee
"Lotus Petal" from Tempest - Art by April Lee
"Edge of Autumn" from Future Sight - Art by Jean-Sébastien Rossbach
"Thassa's Oracle" from Theros Beyond Death - Art by Jesper Ejsing

This pile allows us to simply cast IU and play out Oracle without ever needing to drop shields of the two Forces in hand. It is also resilient to opposing discard as they can only take 1 Force and there is still a Preordain to pitch for the other.

In an alternative scenario if you were to face similar, but with an additional available, you could build the same thing but with an additional piece of interaction such as Daze, Pact of Negation or simply a second blue card to allow you to cast Force of Will twice if they try and fight over the Oracle.

Other Tools Available

There are some key cards that may be used to help work around traditional countermagic. Cavern of Souls is an easy fit into the Meandeck gameplan and, if a land drop is available, can easily slot into some of the more standard piles.

+ Brainstorm + X

"Predict" from Odyssey - Art by Rebecca Guay
"Lion's Eye Diamond" from Mirage - Art by Margaret Organ-Kean
"Edge of Autumn" from Future Sight - Art by Jean-Sébastien Rossbach
"Thassa's Oracle" from Theros Beyond Death - Art by Jesper Ejsing
"Cavern of Souls" from Avacyn Restored - Art by Cliff Childs

You should recognise the above as a simplified Brainstorm pile. In this we have simply swapped out a Lotus Petal with Cavern. This severely punishes anyone trying to wait on countering the Oracle by letting the rest of the spells beforehand resolve.

Likewise it can slot into most IU piles too.

+ Cantrip

"Ideas Unbound" from Saviors of Kamigawa - Art by Mark Tedin
"Lotus Petal" from Tempest - Art by April Lee
"Cavern of Souls" from Avacyn Restored - Art by Cliff Childs
"Edge of Autumn" from Future Sight - Art by Jean-Sébastien Rossbach
"Thassa's Oracle" from Theros Beyond Death - Art by Jesper Ejsing

Teferi, Time Raveler is another tool that can be used to help prevent countermagic however it is expensive to include in piles. It might be suitable for a PTT pile in the mid to late game. The in-built draw effect can help access your pile and, when combined with Baleful Strix, can function as pseudo draw 2 or 3. You can use this draw to replace a cantrip slot in any of the piles already explained.

Playing Around / Through Permanent-Based Interaction

Chalice of the Void

Chalice of the Void is a Legacy staple that is featured in a number of decks. It seeks to generate card advantage by (hopefully) countering a number of cards or preventing the casting of cards of a certain CMC. Normally Chalice is set to X = 1 most of the time which, although can be a heavy detriment to a deck comprised of predominantly one cost cards, does not stop the deck from winning the game.

Although it certainly is convenient trying to get from Dark Ritual, you can easily just cast it from lands. It is perfectly fine getting to turn three without having fetched and just finding three black sources to cast Doomsday. From that point you don't have to cast a single one mana spell.

+ Cantrip

"Ideas Unbound" from Saviors of Kamigawa - Art by Mark Tedin
"Lotus Petal" from Tempest - Art by April Lee
"Lotus Petal" from Tempest - Art by April Lee
"Edge of Autumn" from Future Sight - Art by Jean-Sébastien Rossbach
"Thassa's Oracle" from Theros Beyond Death - Art by Jesper Ejsing

+ Cantrip

"Predict" from Odyssey - Art by Rebecca Guay
"Duress" from Urza's Saga - Art by Lawrence Snelly
"Lion's Eye Diamond" from Mirage - Art by Margaret Organ-Kean
"Edge of Autumn" from Future Sight - Art by Jean-Sébastien Rossbach
"Thassa's Oracle" from Theros Beyond Death - Art by Jesper Ejsing

Both of the above examples are all comprised of zero or two mana cost spells and free cycling effects all of which can circumnavigate the limitations Chalice creates. If playing against a known Chalice deck, simply going turn one Doomsday off of Dark Ritual with another land in hand is pretty safe given you can ignore the interaction (at least where Chalice is concerned). The above are pretty cheap too representing post Doomsday costs of and respectively.

Chalice is not limited to being set on one. Sometimes an opponent will want to deploy a threat plus disruption on turn one so might lead with Chalice X = 0 or may play a Chalice X = 2 in the late game. For X = 0 this is fine so long as you have been making land drops throughout the game or, at worst, allows you to put lands into the pile itself.

+ Cantrip
Land drop available

"Ideas Unbound" from Saviors of Kamigawa - Art by Mark Tedin
"Street Wraith" from Future Sight - Art by Cyril Van Der Haegen
"Island" from Unhinged - Art by John Avon
"Edge of Autumn" from Future Sight - Art by Jean-Sébastien Rossbach
"Thassa's Oracle" from Theros Beyond Death - Art by Jesper Ejsing

If X = 2 then you can build something like a Brainstorm pile that only uses your one mana cantrips alongside something like Cavern of Souls to get through the Chalice. Alternatively the use of Unearth can help get around the need for a 2 drop using LED as a discard outlet for Oracle instead of milling with Predict.

If you are playing Veil of Summer against Chalice on 0 or 2 then simply casting Veil, or leading a pile with it, will allow your spells to resolve through the Chalice. This is especially useful for BUG variants.

Post-board, for all of the above, you can also start adding removal into your piles as the top card in order to try and facilitate the win. Consider the below PTT example against a Chalice of the Void.

+ Brainstorm + X + PTT

"Abrupt Decay" from Return to Ravnica - Art by Svetlin Velinov
"Lion's Eye Diamond" from Mirage - Art by Margaret Organ-Kean
"Edge of Autumn" from Future Sight - Art by Jean-Sébastien Rossbach
"Ponder" from Lorwyn - Art by Mark Tedin
"Thassa's Oracle" from Theros Beyond Death - Art by Jesper Ejsing

Although we are talking predominantly about Chalice of the Void, the same information can apply to facing against Counterbalance (Veil still gets around the Counterbalance trigger) or even, to some extent, Sanctum Prelate. These cards both also seek to cut you off a key cost of card however with some cards like Prelate, it is very likely to be set at 'X' = 3 to prevent the casting of Doomsday in the first place.

Taxing Effects

When discussing these effects we are talking about things like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Thorn of Amethyst. These generally do not actively stop you going off and winning the game however they do present potential for a lot of delay on reaching that combo turn, especially if being placed under pressure. The piles themselves can be adapted, using the free cyclers, to try and become as mana efficient as possible. This is especially good when knowing you don't face removal as often the Oracle itself is not taxed:

"Street Wraith" from Future Sight - Art by Cyril Van Der Haegen
"Edge of Autumn" from Future Sight - Art by Jean-Sébastien Rossbach
"Thassa's Oracle" from Theros Beyond Death - Art by Jesper Ejsing
"Doomsday" from Weatherlight - Art by Adrian Smith
"Doomsday" from Weatherlight - Art by Adrian Smith

In the above example you can simply cycle the first two cards and then cast Oracle for . The two Doomsdays are just placeholders as, in theory, you will not need them to achieve the win. Obviously, when facing known removal you would have to adapt this further but quite often the tax effect can also prevent the removal being cast as well so bear that in mind.

Spell Restrictors

Spell restrictors are things that place a limitation of how many spells you may be able to cast in a given turn. Cards like Ethersworn Canonist or Deafening Silence both achieve this well. Just like the limitations with the tax effects, these generally only seek to slow you down rather than prevent a full game win and both can be played around.

For example, playing against Deafening Silence you can do a PTT pile similar to the one stated against taxing effects ensuring that you only ever cast one spell. The cyclers can be replaced with another cantrip if need be to increase the pile cost by , or .

Draw Restrictors

This category is one of the hardest to fight through effectively as they cause both delay and prevention of most of the piles we want to use. Leovold, Emissary of Trest, Narset, Parter of Veils, Hullbreacher and Spirit of the Labyrinth all fall under this heading. The easiest way to deal with them is of course removal however that is not always viable, especially in game one. Another way is to simply pass the turn a number of times using the sorcery speed cantrips on your turn and the instant speed free cyclers on the opponent's turn. Predict is quite useful in this scenario as, despite costing it allows you to dig up to three cards deep into the pile. Something like the following may be useful facing an opposing Narset for example (spread over multiple turns):

"Ponder" from Lorwyn - Art by Mark Tedin
"Predict" from Odyssey - Art by Rebecca Guay
"Edge of Autumn" from Future Sight - Art by Jean-Sébastien Rossbach
"Ponder" from Lorwyn - Art by Mark Tedin
"Thassa's Oracle" from Theros Beyond Death - Art by Jesper Ejsing

One key thing to note with these cards involves Teferi, Time Raveler's {-3} ability. If use the ability on a Leovold, you will get to draw the card afterwards. This can allow you to remove the disruption and crack into the pile at the same time.

Search Restrictors

These are cards that, rather than disrupt the Doomsday pile itself, actively prevent you building it in the first place. To understand what is being talk about; please read the below Oracle text of Doomsday:

Search your library and graveyard for five cards and exile the rest.
Put the chosen cards on top of your library in any order.
You lose half your life, rounded up.

The first line is the relevant one. When resolving Doomsday you have to search two zones to construct your pile. Cards like Ashiok, Dream Render, Leonin Arbiter and Aven Mindcensor can all prevent you from searching the library and cards like Rest in Peace can limit what is available to find in the graveyard. Out of these two the former is certainly the most detrimental as that can cut you off from the majority of your cards. So long as you are mindful of these you can however pull a neat trick.

If you have Oracle in hand, you can cast Doomsday without being able to search your library. You still need to find 5 cards from your graveyard (if able) but, assuming those are all cantrips and fetchlands, you can still build a serviceable pile from them. Even better if your graveyard is small or non-existent; you can cast Doomsday and set your library of 0 cards and then cast Oracle to win.

There is a special case scenario with Opposition Agent. If you cast Doomsday with an Opposition Agent in play your opponent gets to search for five cards and the rest of your deck is exiled. Because your opponent controls the search they will get to see your hand and you will not be able to search from the graveyard. The only way to really beat a resolved agent is if you already have Oracle castable in hand, hopefully using Cavern of Souls otherwise the opponent could search for five counterspells to try and stop you.

Playing Around Shuffle Effects

Shuffle effects can be one annoyance to face when building a pile that would otherwise have perfect ordering to it. There are some examples that you could consider needing to play around like Field of Ruin or Assassin's Trophy however the primary concern is in fact a card that is very prevalent in Legacy: Surgical Extraction.

Upon successfully resolving a Doomsday, assuming no cards like Leyline of the Void are present, there will be one card in your graveyard and that will be the resolved Doomsday itself. This is a prime target for an opposing Surgical in an attempt to mess up the ordering of a Doomsday pile as you try and go off in one turn. When the Surgical is used can depend on the opponent but if they wait in response to a Predict for example it can really mess things up.

You can build piles that are either resilient to Surgical, giving decent odds of succeeding despite the shuffle, or even immune to it. A big part of when the opponent casts the Surgical can depend on what spell you are using to draw into a pile. Let us take the following scenario:

+ Cantrip

"Ideas Unbound" from Saviors of Kamigawa - Art by Mark Tedin
"Lotus Petal" from Tempest - Art by April Lee
"Lotus Petal" from Tempest - Art by April Lee
"Edge of Autumn" from Future Sight - Art by Jean-Sébastien Rossbach
"Thassa's Oracle" from Theros Beyond Death - Art by Jesper Ejsing

If the Cantrip used to dig into the pile is something like a Street Wraith then the opponent is likely to Surgical right away meaning you have a 20% chance to draw into the desired Ideas Unbound or a 5% chance to draw Edge to then Cycle immediately into Ideas Unbound (25% success rate chance in total). If using another cantrip, the opponent still may Surgical however the odds of you finding what you need (IU) are dramatically increased. See below a table that shows the percentage of successfully finding either the IU itself or Edge of Autumn that then cycles into IU.

Street WraithPonderBrainstormPreordain
Perfect Pile25%70%60%70%
Imperfect Pile20%53%45%66%

If your opponent then waits on the Surgical for after you already have the ability to draw three of the four remaining cards in the deck and are only punished if you have Edge as the bottom card of the pile and the opponent has removal for Oracle with no additional devotion present (assuming you don't have the luxury to pass the turn). Calculating the percentages for other things like Brainstorm piles is slightly harder, especially when you cannot predict when the opponent will try to use their Surgical (if at all).

One cool trick you can use is to try and bait them into using a known Surgical effect if you have your own in hand. By placing additional copies of Doomsday into your pile, if your opponent tries to extract them, you can shrink your library by casting your own Surgical on the original Doomsday and shrink it by that amount. This again assumes they will Surgical at a time you want but it is a possibility to be considered.

+ Cantrip

"Street Wraith" from Future Sight - Art by Cyril Van Der Haegen
"Edge of Autumn" from Future Sight - Art by Jean-Sébastien Rossbach
"Thassa's Oracle" from Theros Beyond Death - Art by Jesper Ejsing
"Doomsday" from Weatherlight - Art by Adrian Smith
"Doomsday" from Weatherlight - Art by Adrian Smith

Here you have a pile where, if they Surgical in response to the cantrip effect on Doomsday and you remove all the copies in the pile, you will have a deterministic win (using one of Ponder, Brainstorm or Preordain) as you can ensure you are able to see all the cards within the deck and not die to drawing too deep with Brainstorm. Even if they do not use Surgical you can still just cycle twice and play Oracle with a library of two cards.

Everything Else to Consider

As you get more matches under your belt with the deck you will start to face more and more interaction that might seem a surprise or unexpected. I will try and list some of the ones that are relatively common to try and beat and will try to provide examples for some of those on how to consider playing around them. This is not an exhaustive list however and you will eventually run across an unexpected interaction you may not have considered before. If something does get you then stay calm, take it as learning and move on.

Grindstone

"Grindstone" from Tempest - Art by Greg Simanson

This is a consideration when facing any Painter variant. You can find yourself in a situation whereby your opponent may have an active Grindstone and the mana to activate it but you otherwise have a window to try and win. Just like with Surgical Extraction it is difficult to know if and/or when the opponent may try to activate the Grindstone but it is possible to play around.

+ () + Cantrip

"Ponder" from Lorwyn - Art by Mark Tedin
"Ponder" from Lorwyn - Art by Mark Tedin
"Street Wraith" from Future Sight - Art by Cyril Van Der Haegen
"Edge of Autumn" from Future Sight - Art by Jean-Sébastien Rossbach
"Thassa's Oracle" from Theros Beyond Death - Art by Jesper Ejsing

For the example above, if they Grindstone when digging into the pile you will mill Ponder and Ponder and then also Wraith and Edge and draw TO to be able to cast it with 0 cards in your library. If you can draw into Ponder, you cast Ponder and again, if they go to activate Grindstone, you will mill Ponder and Street Wraith which allows you to draw Edge and cycle into Oracle. If you are allowed to access the second Ponder then, assuming they do not activate Grindstone here you can directly grab Oracle and cast it with 2 cards left in your library and a devotion of 2.

This is just one example in a single set of potential circumstances of course. Similar to this includes cards like Hedron Crab, Altar of Dementia, Ipnu Rivulet and Cephalid Coliseum.

Fireblast

"Fireblast" from Visions - Art by Michael Danza

Fireblast is something to be mindful of only in the Burn matchup but it's a good consideration in line with Lightning bolt to be mindful of your life total. If you cast Doomsday from nine life or less you are weak to Fireblast once the Doomsday resolves and likewise from seven life or less you are at risk of bolt. You also have to be mindful of when you can incorporate the use of Street Wraith in a pile (blocked from five life or less) or Force of Will or a fetchland (three life or less). Also always be mindful that if you cast Doomsday when on one life you will immediately lose due to the rounding up clause of the life loss.

Mindbreak Trap

"Mindbreak Trap" from Zendikar - Art by Christopher Moeller

Mindbreak Trap is a popular tool to beat combo decks and work around Veil of Summer. If you know or suspect the possibility of facing it then you can either try to incorporate counter magic into your strategy or build a PTT pile that is mindful of the spell count. Assuming that you cast Dark Ritual into Doomsday, it is risky to try and resolve a third spell.

Consider the following:

"Ideas Unbound" from Saviors of Kamigawa - Art by Mark Tedin
"Thoughtseize" from Lorwyn - Art by Aleksi Briclot
"Lotus Petal" from Tempest - Art by April Lee
"Lotus Petal" from Tempest - Art by April Lee
"Thassa's Oracle" from Theros Beyond Death - Art by Jesper Ejsing

Assuming you had a cantrip ready to dig into the pile, you can use it to try and use it to either pre-emptively bait the Trap or to enable digging one deeper so that you can lead on Thoughtseize the next turn.

You can also utilise tools like the cycling effects to just not cast three spells. If you suspect a Mindbreak Trap in the opponent's hand, with three lands available on the following turn you can go Dark Ritual into Doomsday and pass the turn building the following:

"Ideas Unbound" from Saviors of Kamigawa - Art by Mark Tedin
"Edge of Autumn" from Future Sight - Art by Jean-Sébastien Rossbach
"Lotus Petal" from Tempest - Art by April Lee
"Island" from Unhinged - Art by John Avon
"Thassa's Oracle" from Theros Beyond Death - Art by Jesper Ejsing

This pile only actually casts two spells on the turn after resolving Doomsday. Ideas Unbound and the Thassa's Oracle itself. You can also utilise piles of just three cycling effects or add in Cavern to the mix to protect against other effects should it be desired.

Thought Scour / Predict / Archmage's Charm

"Thought Scour" from Dark Ascension - Art by David Rapoza
"Predict" from Odyssey - Art by Rebecca Guay
"Archmage's Charm" from Modern Horizons - Art by Alayna Danner

Thought Scour is not normally a common card in Legacy now that the Underworld Breach era is gone however it can still show up in rogue brews from time to time. Predict is a card advantage spell played by both Miracles and Doomsday pilots. Both Thought Scour and Predict can target any player and so either can mess up your piles at instant speed, milling a key piece in response to a cantrip or potentially forcing you to unknowingly deck yourself by making your Ideas Unbound suddenly lethal through decking. You can try to take similar considerations to when facing Grindstone in either baiting the known spell or taking a bit more time to play around it.

Dack Fayden / Jace, the Mind Sculptor / Portent

"Dack Fayden" from Conspiracy - Art by Eric Deschamps
"Jace, the Mind Sculptor" from Worldwake - Art by Jason Chan
"Portent" from Ice Age - Art by Liz Danforth

These only need to be considered when building a Pass the Turn pile. Jace is likely the most common one to face and is easily beaten by placing an otherwise innocuous cantrip as the top card. If the opponent upticks Jace then they cannot hit an integral piece if it's the second card down and even if they allow it to stay on top you can still execute the pile without hindrance.

Vendilion Clique / Kolaghan's Command

"Vendilion Clique" from Morningtide - Art by Michael Sutfin
"Kolaghan's Command" from Dragons of Tarkir - Art by Daarken

Both of these cards tend to come from control shells. Command is likely more disruptive but can be played around assuming you are able to ensure you have one additional card in hand than needed. Often this means not being able to utilise LED however you can otherwise treat it like any other pile where you need to keep countermagic up. Clique is tricky when trying to utilise cards like Predict or Ideas Unbound but is relatively superfluous if executing something with just cantrips. You can also build a pile around it if you can predict when the opponent will use it however that can be tricky. Also be mindful of timing for your opponent being able to snipe an LED with the artifact destruction mode.

Stifle / Trickbind / Torpor Orb / Dress Down

"Stifle" from Scourge - Art by Dany Orizio
"Trickbind" from Time Spiral - Art by John Zeleznik
"Torpor Orb" from New Phyrexia - Art by Svetlin Velinov
"Dress Down" from Modern Horizons 2 - Art by Iain McCaig

These effects all seek to prevent the Thassa's Oracle trigger from either resolving or ever triggering in the first place. For any permanent based one you will need to remove it to be able to win from the Oracle trigger. For the instant speed ones, you will need some sort of interaction, either counter magic or discard (however in the case of Trickbind you have to be proactive thanks to the split second ability) so something like Duress is a must. You can also consider using a second Oracle in your pile if you only suspect a single use example of these effects.

Thoughtseize / Thoughtknot Seer / Cabal Therapy

"Thoughtseize" from Lorwyn - Art by Aleksi Briclot
"Thought-Knot Seer" from Oath of the Gatewatch Promos - Art by Svetlin Velinov
"Cabal Therapy" from Judgment - Art by Ron Spencer

These effects tend to only be relevant for PTT piles. Normally they can be safely ignored however they may cause delay to your pile winning or, in the worst case scenario, could take your Oracle out of your hand leaving you unable to win. Just be mindful of when these cards could come up if building a PTT pile.

Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer

"Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer" from Modern Horizons 2 - Art by Simon Dominic

Another PTT only example. You may know about a Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer on board or suspect your opponent might be able to dash one from their hand. When considering Ragavan you have to work out what cards in the pile they will be exiling with it.

The safest method to deal with it is to place a cycle effect in any slot they are likely to exile. This way if they do exile it, they cannot obtain any value from it and if they don't exile it you have still have the draw effect available to you.

Consider the following example from the basics chapter.

+ PTT

"Ideas Unbound" from Saviors of Kamigawa - Art by Mark Tedin
"Lotus Petal" from Tempest - Art by April Lee
"Lotus Petal" from Tempest - Art by April Lee
"Street Wraith" from Future Sight - Art by Cyril Van Der Haegen
"Thassa's Oracle" from Theros Beyond Death - Art by Jesper Ejsing

You can make a minor adjustment without losing functionality of the pile by placing the SW as the first card.

+ PTT

"Street Wraith" from Future Sight - Art by Cyril Van Der Haegen
"Ideas Unbound" from Saviors of Kamigawa - Art by Mark Tedin
"Lotus Petal" from Tempest - Art by April Lee
"Lotus Petal" from Tempest - Art by April Lee
"Thassa's Oracle" from Theros Beyond Death - Art by Jesper Ejsing

In this way, even if you are attacked and hit by a Ragavan, you can still draw your entire pile on the following turn and cast Oracle.

Final Thoughts

There are a number of things that you may face and the ability to deal with it comes from research and practice. Remember to always consider the matchup in playing around Wasteland, opposing Thoughtseize effects, Daze and the like prior to the combo to give yourself the best chance to enact the combo. Consider whether speed or resilience is the right path given your opponent's deck.

Because of the size of the Legacy card pool and the variance between decklists, even within proven archetypes, you can often face strange or unexpected corner cases. Just try your best to make note of what you are aware of, play around what you can but be mindful that sometimes you cannot play around everything and need to accept if they have the one corner case card.

In the next section we shall explore sideboard choices and theory which will help you with some of the decisions or scenarios presented in this chapter.